Mekong Eye

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Thailand

  • New tests for residents near big gold mine

    11/26/2015

    A FRESH round of blood/urine tests is now being processed through the initiative of five organisations, including the Industry Ministry, to assess a gold mine’s impacts on the health of people living in Phichit, Phetchabun and Phitsanulok provinces.

    The tests, which started with a blood-sample collection on Saturday, are the sixth round since locals became concerned about the operation of the Chatree Mining Complex. Many residents have complained about deteriorating health.

  • Minister says Dawei SEZ ‘like renovating some parts of an old house in order to prevent it from collapsing’

    11/26/2015

    The Dawei Special Economic Zone has been championed by both the Myanmar and Thai governments as a promising industrial development for Myanmar, yet there have been difficulties getting the project off the ground.

    According to the agreement, the initial phase of the project must be carried out on the 7-square-kilometre land allotted for the special zone, and 65 percent of construction must be completed within three years from the signing date. In the meantime, Italian-Thai Development has been building infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water supplies and buildings.

  • As Dawei “initial phase” 65% complete, locals left in the dark

    11/26/2015

    The Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) is a major industrial project and deep sea port now at an initial phase of construction located in Taninthayri Region, Myanmar. The original plan, led by the Thai construction company Ital-Thai since 2008, was for a US$ 50 billion project that entailed a 250 kilometer square industrial zone. However, by 2012 the project was in deep trouble as it failed to attract investment and was challenged by civil society groups concerned about impact on local livelihoods and the environment, as well as the overall decision-making process around the project.

  • Border trade plans leave locals in flux

    11/25/2015

    Farmland at this time of the year — the beginning of harvesting season — was once filled with produce waiting to be harvested.

    But since the government announced the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tak earlier this year, Mr Sombat said farmers such as himself have been afraid to invest in farming as they have no idea if they will have to leave their land.

  • Why the Mekong River Commission May Be In Peril

    11/24/2015

    The fallout from the Great Fall in financial markets, equities and currencies is ricocheting through the regional economy and beginning to exact a toll – initially among badly-run companies and poorly-managed government institutions.

  • Isan villagers ask court to halt petroleum drilling

    11/24/2015

    An environment conservation group in Isan, Northern Thailand, has requested the court to halt petroleum drilling.

    About 30 village activists opposing drilling in a potential petroleum field called Dongmoon located in Kranuan District of the northeastern province of Khon Kaen at the border with Kalasin Province on Tuesday, 6 October 2015, requested Khon Kaen Provincial Administrative Court to hold an emergency hearing to halt the drilling operation.

  • Imagining Dawei

    10/30/2015

    There is a lone white concrete marker at Dawei’s Kilometre Zero, where storms come ashore from the Andaman Sea and where the long, unpaved road to Thailand begins.

    There is little now auguring that the white marker will one day be at the centre of Dawei special economic zone (SEZ), a mammoth project more than one-quarter the size of Singapore. In its entirety it will cost billions of dollars to build, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and generating up to 5 percent of Myanmar’s GDP.

  • Election over Troubled Waters: Why Benefit Sharing over the Salween is Important for Myanmar

    10/03/2015

    Minority groups, which make up 40 percent of Myanmar’s population and are represented by their own political parties, have not been under effective state control since Myanmar’s independence 67 years ago. Despite the ceasefire agreement, fighting between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar Armed Forces has continued in several states. One of their grievances is the damming of the Salween river in their controlled territories. Proper accommodation of the interests of minority groups in this matter is crucial for ensuring that a peaceful post-election period and transition towards true democracy.

  • Petition in opposition to Thailand National Mining policy submitted

    09/30/2015

    A group of villagers are demanding the government cancel its policy of giving out Special Prospecting Licences throughout Thailand to boost gold mining. People who have been affected by the gold mining business agreed and set up a civil society group which aims to reform gold mining business and policy. The primary goal of the group is to reform the national policy on gold mining, including changing business ownership to Thai national only, business transparency, which will provide maximum benefit to the country and Thai people.

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